#FreeMelania: A Ridiculous Trend—but Have you Seen the Video?
The Terrible Video
On its surface, the video that surfaced that ultimately caused #FreeMelania to be trending in a big way on social media is not exactly the worst thing to ever be seen on the internet. A simple interaction. No big deal, right?
President Trump turns, smiles at his beautiful wife, and the second he turns back, her smile fades. Nothing that unusual, right?
We don't expect anyone we smile at to maintain that smile for time immemorial because that would be incredibly weird. We expect that a smile would very gradually fade, and someone's expression would return to its usual static state.
The speed at which Melania's smile fades struck me hard. It occurred to me then that this was a woman who was in the performance of a lifetime, and she is quite probably stuck.
I realize there has been so much said already about the #FreeMelania topic, and I understand that Melania is a very public figure and as a result, every move she makes is going to be dissected piece by piece. I'm not necessarily fond of that idea, although I've been known to write a fair bit about people in the public eye over the years.
I've also made it clear that President Donald Trump is not my most favorite person on the planet. No one should be shocked by that, and everyone has the right to like or dislike who they want without fear of reprisal.
With those caveats in place, I know enough about people to know that something is deeply wrong - Melania had that written all over her face. The rapid fade of the smile, the downcast eyes, the almost-frown - all of that body language adds up to something, and even though I understand there have been several releases saying that she loves her man and believes in him - even through Pussygate, when he got caught on a hot mike in a very debauched conversation with then-Access Hollywood host Billy Bush - there is something very off about her behavior on what should be one of her happiest days. The man she loves, after all, has just become President of the United States. She and he should be dancing in the streets, and she should be looking as though she's on top of the world, not like she wanted to jump off its edge.
Before And After
My question is, if the First Lady is unhappy in her relationship with President Trump, why in God's name has she been putting on the show of a lifetime? The images that have been splashed all over the media of her clearly unhappy expression are indicative that something was going on that day, miserable weather in Washington on that day aside.
Yes, President Trump is not unknown as a man who has gone through a divorce or two. He's struggled in his personal dealings with women. The First Lady is incredibly gorgeous, and she's made her way on occasion through various media circuses throughout the year. The press has made it very clear that she would be very capable of supporting herself - she was, after all, a model prior to her connections with President Trump. She is still gorgeous, and could probably acquire modelling gigs if things got tight, not to mention the support she would receive from President Trump if they split, given their underage son Barron.
But this is all speculation. I am merely concerned because if she is in a situation that is unhappy, she has every right to leave. She certainly also would not be the first woman to stay with someone that she's unhappy with. She could leave; President or not, she could still leave him. She might not find it easy to do so, but it's an option that's on the table.
President Trump is also ridiculously wealthy - certainly, he has more money than I will ever see as a writer or a teacher. Money can be incredibly motivating for people to stay in their relationships.
But power can be a very attractive mistress, and as First Lady, she wields her own fair share of power. Her husband is also now the President. Who could bring themselves to leave that sort of relationship where you essentially have the world in your hands?
It's a big question, and one that's not easily answered for some.